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Re: Possible draft non-free firmware option with SC change


On 9/7/22 13:48, Russ Allbery wrote:
Between one thing and another I've not been tracking the timeline of this
vote and I'm worried we may be out of time for new ballot options and
possibly extensions.

(As promised in the previous vote for changing the timing of GRs, I've
been watching the timing closely and the last couple have felt rushed.
When there's a quiet period, I'm considering proposing a small
constitutional amendment to relax the timelines a bit based on that
experience.  But we can discuss that separately.)

If there is time left, though, I'm considering proposing the following
option based on my earlier message, just so that there's something on the
ballot that explicitly modifies the Social Contract to allow for non-free
firmware, in case people want that for clarity.

I should stress that I'm not involved in this part of Debian directly and
am not a great choice for a proponent, so I'd be happy if someone else
took that over, but it does feel to me like it would be good to have this
explicitly on the ballot.

Possible wording, which includes the existing option A verbatim:


This ballot option supersedes the Debian Social Contract (a foundation
document) under point 4.1.5 of the constitution and thus requires a 3:1

The Debian Social Contract is replaced with a new version that is
identical to the current version in all respects except that it adds the
following sentence to the end of point 5:

     The Debian official media may include firmware that is otherwise not
     part of the Debian system to enable use of Debian with hardware that
     requires such firmware.

The Debian Project also makes the following statement on an issue of the

We will include non-free firmware packages from the "non-free-firmware"
section of the Debian archive on our official media (installer images and
live images). The included firmware binaries will normally be enabled by
default where the system determines that they are required, but where
possible we will include ways for users to disable this at boot (boot menu
option, kernel command line etc.).

When the installer/live system is running we will provide information to
the user about what firmware has been loaded (both free and non-free), and
we will also store that information on the target system such that users
will be able to find it later. Where non-free firmware is found to be
necessary, the target system will also be configured to use the
non-free-firmware component by default in the apt sources.list file. Our
users should receive security updates and important fixes to firmware
binaries just like any other installed software.

We will publish these images as official Debian media, replacing the
current media sets that do not include non-free firmware packages.


-- Kunal

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